GVSU moves ahead on proposed $70M campus library without promise of state funding

Deborah Johnson Wood

Grand Valley State University's board of trustees has decided to move ahead with the construction of a proposed $70 million library for the school's Allendale campus, voting last week to proceed using private and university funding and not wait for possible state funding.

GVSU built the current Zumberge Library in 1969 to serve 5,000 students – a projected growth number at that time. GVSU now has more than 24,000 students.

"Every year the state asks universities to identify an important capital project for the year, and the library has been at the top of our list for eight years," says Matt McLogan, vice president for university relations. "Right now we can't predict when the state might authorize the project."

The state funding source is Michigan's Capital Outlay Fund, which awards amounts up to $40 million for projects selected from among competing projects.

The proposed library will seat 1,500 students and feature 30 group study rooms. Students will have ready access to 150,000 shelved books and another 600,000 in an automated storage/retrieval system.

The Mary Idema Pew family made the lead donation of an undisclosed amount and the facility is named in her honor as The Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons.

"Students use a library differently today than they did in 1969," McLogan says. "Not just for books but for collaborative study, for the exchange of information of things that aren't in books. The new library will help students in the way they study today – in small workgroups, in small class sections, which trains them well for the work world where work is collaborative and done in small work groups."

GVSU plans to build the library to LEED Platinum specifications. Pioneer Construction is the general manager. The SHW Group, LLC, is the architect/engineer. Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber, Inc. is the civil engineer.

The project breaks ground in spring 2011 and will be completed in 2013.

Source: Matthew E. McLogan, Grand Valley State University

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us at [email protected].

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